During my trip to Italy last week one of our memorable stops was the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo. That sounds like a foodies idea of a college! However, I have to note that the University was started by Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food Movement. He has a rather interesting background according to this post in Wikipedia. Learning this made me wonder what kind of message we would be receiving. In the video below you will find our welcome to the location by Riccardo Sauvaigne. After some coffee we then toured around before getting a presentation from one of the members of the faculty Michele A. Fino, Associate Professor of Roman Law and European Legal Roots. I recorded his presentation so you can listen to it. I think you’ll find it very interesting. If you are familiar with the Slow Food Movement then you can guess correctly the kind of influence it and its founder exerts on the thinking and teaching at the University. Here is the goal of the school.
Its goal is to create an international research and education center for those working on renewing farming methods, protecting biodiversity, and building an organic relationship between gastronomy and agricultural science.
The result is a new professional figure – the gastronome – skilled in production, distribution, promotion, and communication of high-quality foods. Gastronomes are the next generation of educators and innovators, editors and multimedia broadcasters, marketers of fine products, and managers of consortia, businesses, and tourism companies.
Here is the philosophy of the Slow Food Movement.
Our approach is based on a concept of food that is defined by three interconnected principles: good, clean and fair.
GOOD: quality, flavorsome and healthy food
CLEAN: production that does not harm the environment
FAIR: accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for producers
I can’t find anything to disagree with in either of these goals/philosophies. However, if you listen to the presentation there are a number of things that I found questionable in terms of facts and ideas about modern food production. After the presentation we ate lunch together and I had a very enjoyable conversation with Michele. We found lots of things to agree on and some to disagree on. I’d love your opinion of what he presented.
New Holland is a supporter of the University as can be seen in this photo to the left. The idea of sustainable food practices ties in closely not only with the theme of Expo Milano 2015 but also the New Holland Sustainable Farm Pavilion that is being built there right now.
You can listen to Michele’s presentation here: Michele Fino Presentation